My Grandfather, Floyd D. Betters started Betters Food Sales, Inc. with my Grandmother, Margaret S. Betters on March 15, 1956. Prior to starting their business, he worked for a local New York food company, as well as, served in WWII and the Korean War. Betters Food Sales, Inc. was primarily a food brokerage business in wholesale frozen fruits and canned foods. As one of the hardest working men I have ever known, he grew this small company with his wife, from the back porch of their home, into an International Empire stretching across the globe. He always stayed relevant in the business, diversifying when necessary and taking informed risks that continued to grow the company. All four of his children played a very strong role in the family business success, each playing a vital and unique role.
I began my “education” with my grandfather in 1989 when I graduated high school. From that first summer of 1989 and through my college years my grandfather sent me all over the USA and the world to meet primarily with his suppliers where I would spend weeks and months learning the business from the ground up. Every time I returned I had to give him a formal written report, for example, how the Chilean grape juice concentrate business worked from the growing of the grapes, production of concentrates to the shipment of product. Then on occasion I would get a real treat and he would take me on a sales trips (imagine I was 20 years old) meeting the top worldwide brand buyers at Kraft, Tropicana, Minute Maid, Welch’s, and H.J. Heinz.
I formally joined by grandfather’s company in 1996 after graduating college and spending 2 years in the US Army. In 1998, my brother Travis joined Betters International Food Corporation. I primarily did sales and new product development and Travis was in sales. I think we cold called every user of fruit and concentrates in the USA and Canada!
From 2000 to 2001 we attempted to create a family succession plan. Unfortunately, we were not able to reach an agreement and as a result my brother and I left and started a new company, Brothers International Food Corporation. We successfully grew this business and greatly diversified our business. We entered the freeze-dried fruit market with an emphasis on retail and even established a wine import business. However, we always kept to our core which was what we learned from our grandfather - the fruit and beverage ingredient business. Regardless of what business we entered, the underlying understanding of how the food business worked, or how business in general worked, was instilled upon us by our grandfather.
In 2014 my brother and I decided to go our separate ways which resulted with me selling my shares to him in 2015. We agreed to a non-compete wherein I would stay out of the market and do no commercialization plus not contact any of our suppliers until September 2, 2017. Now that my obligations have expired, I am able to begin my business enterprise. I decided on making Colombia my new headquarters for all business development in part because Colombia offers so much. It is rich in fruits and has a very educated population. In Colombia one also has the ability to ship from the Atlantic or Pacific oceans. And yes, the Amazon! I wanted to focus on the awesome and untouched exotic Amazon. Betters International is the first company ever to have a real commercial and communal relationship with tribes on the Amazon. I also wanted to introduce new products into the world without touching or interfering with my brother’s business. In addition, and just as important, I wanted to focus on regions that were part of the recent Colombian peace process after having been filled with war for decades.
If Colombia was to be the new home to Betters International I knew who to contact, my old friend Juan Carlos Segura. Juan and I crossed paths in 2004/2005 and I was immediately impressed with his skills. Nothing ever developed of any commercial value but I always remembered his extraordinary managerial ability, engineering ability, friendship and loyalty. We re-united at the right time as we were both looking for opportunities.
As a result, Betters International was re-launched (God bless my grandparents). We will be operating largest food product development facility in Latin America and the results will be breathtaking. Betters International will employ the best and brightest scientists and engineers. We will be offering over 100 products with much more in the pipeline.
With my vision and Juan’s implementation Betters International will soon be a world recognized company.
None of this would be possible without acknowledging the following people and the hard work and sacrifices they have made: Floyd D. Betters, Margaret S. Betters, William Betters, Elaine Betters, Marvin Betters, Victoria Betters, Paul Betters, Kathy Betters, Bonita Betters-Reed, Gary Reed, Travis Betters, Katherine Betters, James Betters, Kelly Betters, Ryan Betters, Michael DeLaurentis, Veronica DeLaurentis, Cathy Pereira, John Betters, Thomas Betters, Katerine Betters, Juan Carlos Segura Pinzon and Marcela Triana.